LONDON   -  Having had a winning start to the tournament, both India and Australia will eye for early supremacy, as they take on each other in the 14th match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 at The Oval.

Australia’s famed never-say-die spirit once again came to the fore, when they staged a remarkable comeback against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Thursday. Nathan Coulter-Nile, who had an ODI average of 12.83 before Thursday, stunned West Indies with a 60-ball 92 to lift Australia from the depths of 38/4, with Steve Smith and Alex Carey, too, making laudable contributions.

Then, Mitchell Starc - the Player of the Tournament in the 2015 edition - snuffed out a tough West Indies fightback during the chase to finish with five wickets and deliver a 15-run win. Now, Australia once again meet the opposition against whom they began their remarkable ODI turnaround earlier this year - India.

Their opponents are riding their own wave of confidence, having announced themselves with a convincing victory against South Africa on Wednesday. The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who wiped out half the South African line-up between them, might once again be a decisive factor. While Rohit Sharma seemed back in touch with his gritty century, KL Rahul’s resistance during a tough period of play must be heartening for team management.

Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli might’ve failed in their first outing, but their track record against Australia, and the current form of Starc and Cummins, surely builds up towards an exciting contest.

Having done very little of note since arriving in England, the Indian captain will be keen to show his might against the quality Australia’s attack. Kohli, the top-ranked batsman in the ICC ODI Rankings, has always produced his best against the five-time world champions, and will be raring to do so once again at the biggest stage.

Kohli’s equal in the opposition camp, Steve Smith was chiefly responsible for ending India’s World Cup campaign in the 2015 edition, when he made a century against them in the semi-final. The right-hander averages in excess of 50 against India, starkly ahead of his career average of 41.92. With his imperious wrist-work, Smith has his own way of countering spin bowling, and will be a key batsman for Australia in the middle overs.

A few isolated showers might be expected in the afternoon on an otherwise fine day with sunny spells throughout. Batting second has proved to be difficult at The Oval in this tournament so far, which makes the toss a crucial aspect. Dryness, and large square boundaries, might well bring the spinners into play.

Australia Aaron Finch plans to fire up his pace attack to put India under immediate pressure. “Having played India so much recently, we sometimes let Virat get off to a bit of a flier and let them get off the hook early,” said Finch.

“Once he gets into a rhythm he’s so hard to stop and you can’t afford to play catch up against great players and Rohit is the same. He’s so destructive when he starts to really put the pressure on you. You can’t afford to give them too much freedom but we can’t focus on just two players either, look at the rest of their batting line up. Those first ten or 15 balls it’s about making them take a risk and early wickets will be a real key.”

“Winning those last three games in India gave us some self-belief we can beat this side in their home conditions and that gives us real confidence coming into a game like this. It comes down to seizing the key moments. You have to believe you can beat them, because they are a world-class side with some all-time great players.”

“We’ve done our due diligence on every bowler but Bumrah’s obviously world class and he’s had a lot of success in the last 18 months,” added Finch. “All the guys are as well prepared mentally and tactically as they can be face everything we expect from them, they’ll be no surprises.